Dissecting heterogeneity in COPD: A functional imaging-guided-omics study

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung condition with no known cure. Understanding lung abnormalities in COPD is critical to develop new treatments. However, lung abnormalities in COPD are ‘patchy’, and test samples (e.g. biopsies) used for laboratory studies may not be from the most diseased areas. We will use advanced lung imaging techniques (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT)) to identify ‘high-disease’ areas in the lungs of volunteers with COPD, and take samples from these areas using a camera inside the lungs (bronchoscopy). We will take samples before and after treatment with a common antibiotic medication (azithromycin) and test for changes in lung genes. Our approach may ultimately help develop new treatments for the 384 million people worldwide who suffer from COPD.